Cheek to cheek dancing lessons

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Great Expectations in Rye last Saturday included many events, not least on the stage in the Strand alongside The Ship inn, with the Music Well choir kicking off, and Acting up in Rye coming close to the end.

In between came the Cheeky Girls (of Top Ten fame some years back) and Rye Dance School (above) along with many other acts, including the Wall of Sound, the Rye Ukulele Experiment, the Dancing Divas (in the slideshow below) and the young poetry competition winner (right) .

Kayla Crouch reading her award winning poem out on the main stage
Kayla Crouch reading her award winning poem out on the main stage

There was no shortage of music around the town with carol singers in front of the George, Adams, the Bell (see slideshow) and White Vine House at various points in the day. There was also a festival of short films going on at the Kinoalong with book signings and pottery classes (see slideshow below) as well as poetry reading and art classes.

Writer and musician Ed Boxall, in Rye Library, was entertaining the children (see slideshow) with stories about his stories and getting them to sing along with him. “I don’t expect sweet voices”, he said. “I don’t expect tuneful voices, but I do want LOUD voices – like an elephant in a washing machine” – and his books are probably just as entertaining and thought provoking.

Earlier in the day the two person panto at the Mermaid pulled in the crowds with an updated version of Scrooge in a world where Boris Johnson had become Prime Minister.

Music included a band (but without Louis Turpin) at the Queens Head near the end of the day and Phil Law in the afternoon in the Standard. Many made their own music during the standing room only carol service at St Mary’s – which ended with a charming surprise, a snow machine outside the church as people left.

In the interests of gender equality, Mother Christmas was allowed out of the North Pole this year and in to the Old Borough Arms
In the interests of gender equality, Mother Christmas was allowed out of the North Pole this year and in to the Old Borough Arms

“Rye’s Got Talent” winner Sara Tunbridge  also sang for the crowd when the Mayor, Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore, arrived at The George with Father Christmas to switch on the Christmas tree lights – and the poetry competition winner was centre stage at The Strand.

Father Christmas was in his sleigh, pulled by the reindeer Dancer, Prancer and Blitzen (who arrived in a reindeer box from Ashford), but the Mayor arrived first – in a fire engine driven by fireman and former Mayor Shaun Rogers. And, while Father Christmas was very good at managing to be in two places at once, Mother Christmas should not be forgotten, making a guest appearance (right) at the Old Borough Arms.

 

Slideshow: Ray Prewer. Photos by Rye News photographers.

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